Ten food trends from this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show

The Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) Winter Fancy Food Show, which was held Jan 15-17 in Las Vegas, hosted more than 1,100 exhibitors and showcased thousands of specialty food products.

The association’s renowned Trendspotter Panel convened after the show to identify the top overall trends and offer examples of each.

Top 10 Trends, 2023 Winter Fancy Food Show

  1. Non-alcoholic cocktail culture
  2. Fermented for function
  3. Honey is hot
  4. New packaging form and utility
  5. Starters, bases, kits, and shortcuts for convenience
  6. Pantry without borders
  7. Sustainable, upcycled, or regeneratively grown ingredients
  8. High-quality meal prep
  9. Health in balance
  10.  Beneficial beans (and lentils)

The non-alcoholic cocktail culture trend has a special emphasis on sophisticated, well-crafted and flavourful options that include everything from active plants to adaptogens and nootropics. Examples include Abstinence Spirits alcohol-free botanical spirits and aperitifs, and Prima Pavé Italian alcohol-free sparkling wine.

Fermented foods also continue to trend, including Britt’s Fermented Foods Pickles made without vinegar and Hichifuku Brewing organic white soy sauce.

Honey is another perennial favourite, but today’s products showcase adaptogen infusions, forest-grown varieties that are sustainably harvested and spicy flavour profiles.

Innovative packaging that addresses portability, convenience and creativity is also on the rise, including products like Freeze Nums Freeze Dried Candy, iLOLA Tea Discs and Mr Kipling individually-sealed cake slices.

Additionally, products that are responsibly grown or produced, ethically sourced, use upcycled ingredients, or contain sustainable packaging are on the rise.

Convenience in at-home cooking was a top trend identified by the Trendspotter Panel, with meal starters, sauce starters, frozen meals and other shortcuts being showcased.

High-quality meal prep options, from Naogen Soy Sauce Crystalized Shoyu to Marin Food Smoked Butter and Sea Urchin Butter also made waves.

Condiment staples from around the globe also made a fair showing at the Fancy Food Show, with the trend also extending to snacks, cookies, beverages and other grocery staples.

Better-for-you snacks and treats also dominated, including Hero Bread low carb and zero carb bread and baked goods, and Woh Naturally Delicious Tempeh and Salacca Chips.

Finally, beans and lentils in several forms came out on top, ranging from crisps and snacks to seasoned varieties and new to-go packages and pouches. Products identified include BeanVIVO organic seasoned beans in pouches, dips, and snack packs, and Sanchi Foods Bean and Lentil Crisps in Chili Garlic, Tikka Masala and Sea Salt.

About the SFA: New York-based SFA hosts both a Winter Fancy Food Show and a Summer Fancy Food Show, and is the leading trade association and source of information about the $175-billion specialty food industry for 70 years. The SFA represents manufacturers, importers, retailers, distributors, brokers and others in the trade.